The two lakes ensure additional cooling and humidity when it is very hot and additional sunlight and warmth during autumn when the sun shines. The western area of La Côte gets less rain that Lavaux and Chablais in the east, while the latter benefits more from the warming föhn mountain wind. Although some vineyards reach heights of 600 and even 700 metres (1,968 and 2,296 feet), most are sited between 400 to 500 metres (1,312-1,640 feet). The geology in Vaud also comprises chalk, glacial scree, calciferous sandstone, clay, and rock.
About 99% of all Swiss wine from Vaud is made from Chasselas grapes. A little Riesling x Sylvaner (Müller-Thurgau) is produced in Côte de l’Orbe and a little Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and Sylvaner is made for the local catering trade. With the red wines (that account for less than 20% of the total production) Gamay dominates with two-thirds of the reds and Pinot Noir accounts for about one third. Small amounts of Syrah and Mondeuse are also made for the local catering trade. Vaud wines are identified by their place of origin and not the variety of grape from which they are made.
Chablais Swiss Wine
This Swiss wine area comprises five places of origin: Bex, Ollon, Aigle, Yvome, and Villeneuve. The Chasselas white Swiss wine are fresh and lively while remaining elegant and rich. They can be recognised by the relatively high mineral content (magnesium in Aigle and Villeneuve, other minerals in Ollon, lots of flint in Bex, and gypsum in Ollon and Bex). This Swiss wine also reflects their terroir in the bouquet. If you take the wine route you will be confronted with a tremendous assortment of different aromatic nuances. Floral notes and aniseed in Bex, wet stone, resin, and roses in Ollon, floral scents with fruit, flint, burnt earth or caramel with age in Aigle, hazelnut, peach, and apricot in Yvome, and slate, flint, and fruit in Villeneuve. Drinking temperature for this Swiss wine is 10-12°C (50-53.6°F).